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I’ve always been in love with cats, and I can’t pass an adoption drive without looking at the cats.
I had lost a little part-Siamese I had for seventeen years, a few months before I saw Princess Jasmine for the first time. She was in a cage at Petsmart, and I noticed her right away. As I petted her and talked to her, I felt a connection with her… but the timing was wrong. So, I had to walk away… with regrets.
She was a young cat but no longer a kitten, and she had been through several surgeries after being mauled by her previous family dog while pregnant. After all her trials, her family chose the dog and abandoned her at the vet, who took her to a HALO no-kill shelter.
Two months later, I spotted Jasmine again during a special adoption drive at Petsmart. She still hadn’t been adopted despite her sunny personality. Her adoption fee had gone down, and this time I was in a position to adopt her. I took it as a sign that we must be destined for each other.
I took her to the house I shared with my now ex-husband. She enjoyed running in the backyard, chasing lizards, hunting bugs, and playing chicken with the chickens.
A few months later, afraid she might feel lonely, I adopted a kitten from a friend’s backyard litter, an adorable tuxedo we named Spunky for his fearless exploits.
Jasmine didn’t like him at all. She wanted the house to herself. But mainly Spunky liked my lap, her favorite place, and Jasmine didn’t like to share. So, she gave him the stink eye and kept her distance when he was near me.
One morning, as I was making the bed upstairs, Jasmine came up to me mewing and mewing. I could tell something was very wrong. She seemed to want me to follow her down the stairs, so I did. It was a beautiful day and the doors and windows were wide open. Jasmine took me to the front yard to the corner of the house, where a thick vine grew all the way to the top of the chimney.
And there, the reckless little kitten who had tried to climb the vine, was crying pitifully, out of strength, barely able to move, entangled so tightly in the vine, that I couldn’t free him with my bare hands. I had to get some cutters to cut the strands constricting his little belly.
Although Jasmine resented the kitten, she had come to get me when he was in trouble. Don’t tell me animals don’t have a soul. And there are angels among them. Jasmine was definitely an angel and saved this kitten’s life that day.
From then on, Spunky lost his spunk, and Jasmine became the alpha mama cat. Later on, we brought in a few occasional strays and abandoned kittens who needed a home. Jasmine never played with them but watched them play from the top of the stairs.
Spunky grew into a beautiful cat but didn’t stay with us very long. He had faulty genes and a neurologic condition (like his brother who remained with my friend and also died early). It’s sometimes the case with feral kittens. Bless his little soul.
Shortly after Spunky’s passing, my husband and I separated. Of course, I took my little princess Jasmine with me. She was happy from then on to be the only cat in the home, even if it was a small apartment without a yard. She could lie in my lap every night, and sleep on my bed, and demand tuna and get it from me every time. And she never had to share anything again, not her toys, not my lap, not my bed, not the food, not my affection.
She became a lazy fat cat that my friends called “well fed” so as to spare her feelings. But for the past year or so, Jasmine had been losing weight. At first, it seemed like a good thing, and she could move better, and jump on the bed again, to wake me up every morning before sunrise.
Her passing didn’t really come as a surprise, since she was sixteen and had a hard beginning, but I cry every time I see her in my mind, that cute little angel, sleeping with eyes open, unseeing, her soul already in a better place. My apartment feels empty without her. I miss her sorely. R.I.P. little angel.
When I’m ready to love again, I will adopt another cat, but first this pain has to heal.
In the meantime, Jasmine still lives in my books, as she was the inspiration for many of my cat characters, who, like her, are telepathic, and angelic in nature.
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Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
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I'm a cat lover, too. Sorry for your loss but having her love for all those years must have been wonderfulReplyDelete
I'm sorry for your loss. What a beautiful treasure she was. What a nice memoir for her.ReplyDelete
Adorable kitty babies! And lots of Pretty Girls. So sad when they leave us, to return to the Great Cat Mama! Tried to post yesterday, but no go.ReplyDelete
So sad to lose a beloved pet, but you have lovely memories. Having been a dog owner for many years I decided to now become a cat owner or should I say a cat servant. My 5 year old boy now rules each day of course.ReplyDelete
What a powerful blog, Vijaya. Thanks for sharing these memories and putting into words the beating of your heart.ReplyDelete